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23 Aug 2019, Edition - 1501, Friday

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End protest: Mamata Banerjee threatens action against Kolkata doctors, says it’s BJP conspiracy

indiatoday.in

Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee lashed out at the junior doctors who have been protesting at the Nil Ratan Sircar (NRS) Medical College in Kolkata for the past four days. Banerjee has served an ultimatum to the protesting doctors saying the government will take action after 2 pm on Thursday if the doctors still do not end the agitation.

Speaking to India Today TV, Banerjee said, “This strike is a BJP conspiracy. The protesters are disrupting medical services. This should end at once.”

Mamata Banerjee, who is yet to meet the protesting doctors at the NRS Hospital, even after repeated demands, has slammed the junior doctors for the agitation that has brought health services in the city and other hospitals in the state to a standstill.

The junior doctors have been agitating ever since an intern at the NRS Hospital was critically injured when a mob barged into the hospital and attacked doctors on night duty after a patient died on June 10.

The doctors have been demanding better security while emergency wards, outdoor facilities, pathological units of most of the state-run medical college hospitals and a number of private medical facilities in the state remained closed.

Days after the protests, Mamata Banerjee said on Thursday, “I do not understand medicine but today I saw an accident victim lying without being attended to. He will die lying there because of the protest. Let good sense prevail or else we will be forced to take action.”

“Medical services come under the Essential Services Act and doctors cannot afford such protests. If the strike is not called off, we will be forced to take action after 2 pm. This will be done as per the laws laid down by the Supreme Court,” said Mamata Banerjee while addressing the media.

The protesters are demanding enhanced security for all doctors and punishment for the policemen who allegedly baton charged them during the clash with family members of a patient who died due to alleged medical negligence.

Senior state ministers including Minister of State for Health Chandrima Bhattacharya, had held several rounds of meeting with the agitating doctors on Tuesday but failed to persuade them to resume work.

On Wednesday night, the department of health and family welfare issued a statement appealing to the protesting junior doctors to “immediately withdraw the agitation and restore normalcy in the essential service to the citizens at the earliest”.

Meanwhile, the condition of injured junior doctor Paribaha Mukhopadhaya was stated to be stable.

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